Judge to decide on change of venue for Santa Fe shooting trial

A judge in Galveston County will decide whether or not to move the trial for the admitted Santa Fe High School shooter. Legal experts say this case is a good candidate for a change of venue.

The defense team feels that their defendant wouldn't be able to get a fair trial in Galveston County.

There are a number of things that the judges have to take into account when they have this kind of motion. It doesn't only come down to the television and newspaper coverage that people might have been seeing about this, but we're told that social media reaction can play a role in this.

The judge will also consider how much effort it would take to get the witnesses and family members moved to another county in order to be part of the trial.

FOX 26 legal analyst Chris Tritico says this kind of motion is rarely granted, but it's typically reserved for cases like this one where you have highly emotional facts, a lot of media coverage and a small jury pool because of the county population.

Typically, if the trial were to be moved, it would be moved to an adjoining county. In this case, because all the surrounding counties have access to the same news coverage, Tritico says he believes it would have to be moved to a different viewing area.

Ultimately, the judge isn't trying to find jurors who have never heard about this case.

“You're not entitled to a juror that doesn't know anything about the case. You're entitled to a juror that has not been influenced in his or her decision by that media coverage,” Tritico says.

The change of venue hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. today.